Since 2007, Mercer has provided down-payment assistance to full-time faculty and staff to purchase homes in three neighborhoods surrounding the Macon campus. Down Payment Assistant recipients commit to living in the home for five years after the date of purchase. If the property is sold before the end of the initial five-year residency period, a pro-rated portion of the initial Down Payment Assistance must be repaid at the time of the ownership transfer. Faculty and staff are eligible for a down-payment loan of up to 17 percent of the home’s purchase price, with a maximum of $20,000.
In 2008, the program was expanded to the entire Intown Macon historic district, including the target neighborhoods of Beall’s Hill, Huguenin Heights, and Tatnall Place. When the program received new funding in 2014 from the Knight Foundation, the emphasis once again shifted to the Beall’s Hill neighborhood, which also is benefitting from infrastructure funding from Macon-Bibb that will enhance streets, sidewalks and lighting.
Since the Down Payment Assistance Program began, dozens of faculty and staff have participated and surrounding historic neighborhoods have been revitalized.